Great wines at Squaw Valley


Mary Tye pours the Clarksburg Chenin Blanc  ·

There is always something to do at the Village at Squaw Valley, and a favorite wine tasting opportunity is the Art, Wine & Music Festival held each summer. The date changes, but the fun and good wines are always there. Wine tasting stations are scattered throughout the Village in a number of tents, so you can enjoy music at many points, and look at art while you taste wines. Here are a few that I enjoyed.

Reynolds Family Winery poured its 2009 Chardonnay, Napa Valley. The aroma is of apricot and caramel and there is a bit of effervescence to this wine. These tiny bubbles reveal taste of lemon custard, honeydew and tangerine. 14.5 per cent alcohol. $29 the bottle. Visit

Of the wines featured by Moniz Family Wines, I enjoyed the 2010 Cuvee Olivia, which winemaker-owner Rod Moniz named after his daughter. (There also is Cuvee Alexandra.) The grapes for this wine are from Sonoma County, and it is a Bordeaux-style blend of 50 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 19 percent malbec, 14 percent Cabernet Franc, 10 percent Petit Verdot and 7 percent Merlot. Really yummy, a lively wine with taste of dark berry fruit and hint of spice and vanilla. It has balanced acidity, a solid structure and soft tannins. 13.9 per cent alcohol. $18 the bottle. Visit

The Clarksburg Wine Company presented is 2011 Chenin Blanc that has a touch of Viognier to add to smoothness. Chenin Blanc is, for the most part, an under-appreciated wine in America. It is wildly popular in South Africa, and is truly delicious. Here are the winemaker’s notes: “A medley of fruits and floral scents. Impressions of ripe pear, apple and white nectarine intermingle with jasmine and apple blossom. On the palate, this wine displays a rich, round mouth feel with a burst of fresh, crisp acidity and slate. Tastes of peach, nectarine, melon and spice abound. As the wine finishes, a hint of Asian pear and lime will linger during the long crisp finish.” 12.5 percent alcohol. $16 the bottle. Visit

White Hart’s 2011 Pinot Noir, Central Coast, is a great tasting and well-priced Pinot Noir. Michael Filice, proprietor and winegrower, believes in making wines that are not over-extracted, over-oaked or over-handled. 14.5 per cent alcohol. $24 the bottle. Visit

The 2012 Rutherford Sauvignon Blanc from Round Pond winery is 100 percent Sauvignon Blanc. It has a delicate and, yet vibrant, aroma of white peach, apricot and citrus, and a taste of honeydew melon, lemon and kiwi. This Sauvignon Blanc is fresh and bright, and is a true reflection of the winery’s focus on purity of fruit and their terroir. 14.5 percent alcohol. $24 the bottle. Visit

Uncorked at Squaw Valley works hard with the event organizers to suggest wineries that are varied, and to assure that the wines are affordable and tasty. Visit this wine shop next time you are at Squaw, and put the festival on your watch-list for next year.

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Barbara Keck
Barbara started writing for newspapers when she was 14 and continues to write, most recently the “Wineries of the Sierra Foothills” book published by Range of Light Media, parent company of The Tahoe Weekly. Barbara wrote the wine column for the Weekly for many years, and contributes occasional tidbits on tourism and entertainment topics. A long marketing consulting career that included extensive international travel led her to conclude that Lake Tahoe is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Almost 20 years of enjoying the seasons on the West Shore of Lake Tahoe has confirmed her belief.